THE GLORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Lichfield Cathedral, south transept portal and steps.

1858.

Albumen print from a wet collodion negative, 349 x 432 mm (13¾ x 17 inches), mounted on card (the mount trimmed slightly), titled ‘Lichfield’ in pencil and with the photographer’s printed credit on mount.

£12500

Approximately:
US $15848€14629

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Lichfield Cathedral, south transept portal and steps.

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A fine print of one of Fenton's most striking architectural photographs, the details of the stonework given human scale, and a touch of mystery, with the figure posed half-in and half-out of the doorway. It was one of a number of images of Lichfield which 'from a restricted distance, move around the cathedral from the facade to the side, gradually including the full height' (Valerie Lloyd), exploiting the latest developments in lenses and cameras.

‘Roger Fenton is a towering figure in the history of photography, the most celebrated and influential photographer in England during the medium’s “golden age” of the 1850s. … As a photographer of architecture, Fenton was without equal in England. He assigned himself the task of photographing the major churches and abbeys of Great Britain and … wedded perfect technique with an unerring ability to choose the precise vantage point and lighting conditions that would best render the smallest details of architecture, convey a sense of monumentality, and imbue his pictures with a Romantic spirit. … In the course of a single decade, Fenton had played a pivotal role—by advocacy and example—in demonstrating that photography could rival drawing and painting not only as a means of conveying information, but also as a medium of visual delight and powerful expression.’ Daniel, M. “Roger Fenton (1819–1869)” in Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000.

Roger Fenton, Photographer of the 1850s, Hayward Gallery 1988, cat. 119.